Q&A 35: How To Get Out of a Mental Funk

Nov 19, 2015

In today’s Q&A podcast we’re talking about how to get out of a mental funk & what to do on days where you wake up feeling unmotivated, frustrated or just down. Plus, we answer questions about tracking, what it really means (and doesn’t mean) for foods to love you back, which sweeteners are most fat loss friendly & a good bit more!

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How to Get Out of a Mental Funk

  1. Check your focus
    Negative emotion is a trigger for me. When I start to feel frustrated, sad, hopeless or mentally exhausted, I train myself to pause. You see, I used to just dive head first into the emotion. It was like a vicious cycle that sucked me in. I’d feel bad, think about all the reasons I feel bad, get upset that I feel so bad and then feel worse. Whoa. No wonder life was so tough. Now I take a different approach. When I notice those negative emotions & I start to feel lousy, I ask myself one powerful question: What am I focused on?
    Pretty much 100% of the time I am feeling lousy because I am focused on things that make me feel lousy. Here’s the great thing: I can change my focus. See, if I focus on how long I’ve been on this journey or what I’ve had to sacrifice to get here, it’s easy to feel frustrated or exhausted. If I focus on how slow progress feels, I’m likely to feel hopeless. But I don’t have to think about those things.
    I can choose to shift my focus. I can choose to focus on the many, many things in my life I have to be grateful for. I can choose to focus on how proud I am that I’ve made the progress I have. I can choose to focus on what a blessing it is to be healthy & well enough to improve my condition. I can choose to focus on my excitement about what is ahead, the things I have yet to create.
  2. Practice gratitude
    This is one you’ll hear all over the place and that’s for one simple reason: it’s true. It works. When you get into a funk, pause for a moment and write down 3 things for which you are grateful. But here’s the catch: don’t just go through the motions. Think about these things. Visualize them. Feel the joy them bring into your life. Don’t just think, “Yes, I am grateful for this”. Feel it deeply. What it brings to your life, how it makes you feel, how fortunate you are to have this thing, person, relationship or ability.
  3. Accomplish something
    I want to emphasize a very important distinction. When I was at my heaviest, I’d often wake up feeling really down. I was disgusted by my body. I was frustrated by my lack of progress and lack of self-discipline. I would get sucked into that vortex of feeling and mope around all day. I was “too sad” to do anything or to be productive. That essentially kept me trapped right there in that feeling.
    Now, I know that I will feel better with each small thing I accomplish. For example, if I wake up feeling not-so-great about my body, I want to achieve a small win. I know I need those wins to start to make me feel proud of myself, encouraged and confident. It might be as small as a glass of water or 2 minutes of meditation. It might simply be making my bed or folding the basket of laundry that has been sitting in the hall for a week. You don’t need to eliminate all your bad feelings, but choose to accomplish something small. Then do it again.
  4. Sleep
    One of the wonderful things tracking my food & habits has shown me is that 90% (or more) of my mental funks hit me when I’m tired. These days, I stay really mindful of how rested I am. If I get that late-in-the-day snacky urge or I start to go down negative mental rabbit holes, I’m quick to ask, “Am I tired?” And, like being aware that the whiny toddler just needs a nap, I put myself to bed. Nothing good comes from being sleep deprived. So many times the answer, for me, is to get a good night of sleep.

Other Questions in This Episode

  1. Do you share your tracking template? (Hint: Yes, I do!)
  2. Your eating seems do be really clean. Do you ever have a bad day?
  3. What does it really mean to eat foods you love that love you back? What does it mean for a food to love you back?
  4. My question is about creating a calorie deficit. Is it true that if I go lower than recommended, won’t that just accelerate my fat loss?
  5. Can you give me some advice about sweeteners? What will impact my fat loss the least?


How To Track (without counting calories)

Why Calorie Counting is SO Misleading

The Power of Creating a Morning Routine

Bad Mood Food – Sugar & Depression

4 Ways to Beat the Bad Days

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